Go Deeper

The European Lesson: leave your notebooks at home

Posted August 6th, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, Festival staff visited UArts for an informal showing of The European Lesson, which began rehearsals only two weeks ago.

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Sarah Sanford, Catharine Slusar, Aaron Cromie, and John Zak in rehearsal

Jeb Kreager’s character (a wayward, self-employed anthropologist with no formal training) invites us to observe the findings of his field study on gender roles and family relations in Slovak culture. Don’t worry—there’s no paper being presented here. No power point to snooze through. No Venn diagrams to hide from. The European Lesson offers viewers a look at real Slovaks in a purely quotidian state—they eat, work, and interact just as they would at home in Slovakia. Viewers can take pleasure in knowing, among other things, that Slovaks do not practice inbreeding. They have high moral standards. They are hard workers. And they are intensely aware of their own emotions.

As this anthropologist puts it, “Slovakia is the last pickle in the European jar.”

Of course, there’s plenty more to say about the show. Among many other things (some yet to be created), there’ll be three life-changing sexual indiscretions, two smashing, 1960’s era song-and-dance numbers that will undoubtedly knock your socks off, and one very shocking scientific discovery.

Stay tuned for more.